Just Announced Madison Concert: A.A. Bondy (2.1.10)

A.A. BONDY

Mon. Feb 1 @ High Noon Saloon

8pm show, ages:18+

$10 adv and dos


 

This Week’s Nightlife and Giveaways: Bluegrass Bonanza

Trampled By Turtles

Madison music fans sure do love their bluegrass!  This week our fine city will see the return of two of its favorite quick pickin’ roots groups.  Trampled By Turtles and Pert’ Near Sandstone have wowed us before, now they’re back to impress again.  Read on to find out how you could win tickets to one of these sure-to-put-a-smile-on-your-face-shows.

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Monday Concert Connection: Ye Olde Ninety Sevens

Old 97s

Rhett Miller’s no stranger to Madison.  The sometime solo alt-country songsmith last captivated fans in our fine city back in February, and this time he’s returning with his band in tow.  Don’t miss The Old 97s when they play The Barrymore next Tuesday!

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Monday Concert Connection- Tons of Free Tix!

This week is total musical madness from bluegrass to garage rock, we’ve got at least one show per day for a week of debaucherous listening pleasure. Not only that but we’re giving away lots of free tix plus a free MP3 download to our amazing music fans!

Scroll down for chances to hang out with Greensky Bluegrass, The Drones, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Richard Buckner, Rodriguez, Natalie Zuckerman & Antje Duvekot…

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Wednesday, April 8

GREENSKY BLUEGRASS

with NEW MOUNTAIN KICKERS

Genre: Bluegrass

Sounds like: Cornmeal, Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Trampled By Turtles


“It is their unique ‘fusion of tradition and enthusiasm for improvisation’ that has come to define the band’s creative and tangible compositional style.”
– Scott Preston, Cincy Groove Magazine

ticket button

Learn More: Official Website, Myspace

Win Tix!: Greensky Bluegrass is an obvious play on words that turns your world upside down. If you can send in three original or favorite similarly thought-provoking phrases, you may just find yourself in a field of some of Michigan’s own.

9:00 pm, High Noon Saloon, 608.268.1122, $10 adv./DOS – 18+

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Lucinda Rocks us Hard

https://i2.wp.com/www.cmt.com/sitewide/assets/img/news/2005/09_05/austin_city_limits/lucindawilliams-280x336.jpg

Lucinda Williams has always been adept at painting landscapes of the soul, illuminating the spirit’s shadowy nooks and shimmering crannies — but she’s never captured the sun breaking through the clouds as purely as on her new Lost Highway release, Little Honey.

“I’m in a different phase of my life, so there are more happy moments on this album,” the singer-songwriter says of her ninth studio set. “ ‘Darkly introspective,’ is one phrase people have used to describe a lot of my songs. There are moody songs, but I’m looking outside myself a little bit more. These aren’t ‘boy meets girl, boy leaves girl, girl gets bummed out’ songs — there’s a lot more than that going on.”

Williams wastes no time signaling that mood change, leading into Little Honey’s opener, “Real Love” with a false start riff that’s the six-string equivalent of a friendly wink – then sidling into the tune’s hard-rocking vibe with a sensual slink that underscores the passion of finding exactly what that title indicates. The bluesy physicality of that tune is echoed in several of Little Honey’s tracks, from the charmingly chugging “Honeybee” to the gorgeous melodies of “If Wishes Were Horses”.

“I’m stepping out and writing about things other than unrequited love. But because that’s not part of my experience anymore,” she explains, “doesn’t mean I’m going to stop being a songwriter. There are plenty of other important things to write about — the state of the world, for one thing — I don’t buy into the myth that because you get to a certain level of contentment, you have to throw in the towel.”

While Little Honey certainly has plenty to move the hips, Williams doesn’t neglect her uncanny ability to do the same to the heart. The sparse delta delivery she affords “Heaven Blues” — a keening consideration of what might await on the other side – hits home thanks to its arresting blend of hope and vexation, while the epic “Rarity” rides soft waves of brass (instrumentation never before heard on one of her discs).

“The one thing the songs have in common is directness,” she says. “The beauty of country and blues is their simplicity, it’s about getting things across in a really direct way. I’ve spent a while stretching out and going in different directions, which is my nature. But I feel that I can always embrace that original simplicity again — that’s why I went back to record ‘Circles and Xs,’ which I actually wrote back in 1985.”

Over the course of a recording career that’s now in its fourth decade, the Louisiana-born singer has navigated terrain as varied as the dust-bowl starkness of her 1978 debut Ramblin’ (recorded on the fly with a mere 250 dollar budget behind her) and the stately elegance of last year’s West (which Vanity Fair called “the record of a lifetime”). Between those signposts, Lucinda Williams established a reputation as one of rock’s most uncompromising and consistently fascinating writers and performers, earning kudos from artists as diverse as Mary-Chapin Carpenter (who helped win Williams a Grammy with her recording of “Passionate Kisses”) and Elvis Costello (who joins her for a duet on the Little Honey mini-drama “Jailhouse Tears”).

Williams learned the importance of professional integrity around the same time most kids are learning their ABCs, thanks in a large part to her award-winning poet father Miller Williams — who invested her with a “culturally rich, but economically poor” upbringing where artistic expression was of primary importance. Later, she’d hone her vision playing hardscrabble clubs around her adopted home state of Texas, absorbing the influence of sources as varied as Bob Dylan and Lightnin’ Hopkins.

“I sometimes say I just started out singing folk songs acoustically by default,” she recalls. “Even when I was playing open mic nights by myself, I’d be sitting up on stage with my Martin guitar doing ‘Angel’ by Jimi Hendrix or ‘Politician’ by Cream alongside Robert Johnson and Memphis Minnie songs. It never occurred to me to pick just one style.”

She’s never settled for any sort of pigeonholing, entering the ‘90s with the slow-burning Sweet Old World — a disc that, as much as any release, helped place the Americana movement at the forefront of listeners’ minds — and cementing her own spot in the cultural lexicon with 1998’s rough-hewn masterpiece Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

The latter disc earned Williams her first Grammy as a performer, but rather than try to capture the same lightning in a bottle a second time, she stretched her boundaries on 2001’s Essence, an album rife with both cerebral interludes and soul-stirring stomps. In recent times, Williams has broadened her palette even further through frequent collaborations with kindred spirits — acts as varied as The North Mississippi All-Stars and Flogging Molly — who share her uncommon sense of non-revivalist traditionalism.

Little Honey continues that ongoing forward quest, mixing country, R & B and blues-rock elements with adventurous aplomb. The disc gets an added octane boost from the powerful chemistry between the musicians, primarily drawn from Williams’ latest road band (now collectively known as Buick 6) — includes bassist David Sutton, Eels veterans Butch Norton and Chet Lyster as well as longtime collaborator Doug Pettibone.

Williams augments that core unit with a passel of like-minded folks spanning a huge chunk of the musical spectrum, from octogenarian singing legend Charlie Louvin to power-pop vets Susannah Hoffs and Matthew Sweet, the latter of whom helped arrange the Spector-tinged “Little Rock Star” — applying studio skills that prompted Williams to dub him “this generation’s Brian Wilson.”

“I feel that this is the most eclectic record I’ve ever done, and I’ve always been known for being eclectic,” she says. “ For this album, I was comfortable just letting the songs flow, and not worried about being so serious and heavy and having to top myself — and I think that shows.”

She needn’t have worried for a minute because, with Little Honey, Lucinda Williams has indeed topped herself again.

Stream tracks from the new album Little Honey

Lucinda video about her latest album- interviews, music and more

Also check out Muzzle of Bees coverage

with special guests BUICK 6 Saturday, October 25, 8pm Orpheum Theatre 608.255.0901 $30 — all ages BUY TICKETS NOW ! Available at the Orpheum Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone at 608.255.4646 ( $1.00 per ticket to benefit local non-profit )

This Week’s Shows- All You’ll Need

Need a break but lamenting the price of gas and the tumbling economy?  No need to leave town- experience the world through your local music venues.  This week in Madison offers up country, bluegrass, jam band, acoustic, americana, ska, reggae ,pop-punk, indie, folk, hip-hop, alternative, and surf from all reaches of the world.  Feel better?  Thought so.

Friday, October 17

YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND

Genre: Country, Bluegrass, Jam Band

“With little radio support, Yonder Mountain has become one of the fastest rising touring bands in the country, its fanbase having ballooned over the past five years through steady gigging and high-profile festival sets, all of which are full of improv and none of which feature the same set list.” -yondermountain.com

Similar to: The String Cheese Incident, Railroad Earth, Phish, Old Crow Medicine Show

9:00pm @ Orpheum Theatre  (608.255.6005)   Tickets $25 adv $30 dos — all ages

BUY TICKETS NOW !

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Saturday, October 18
An Evening with PERT ‘ NEAR SANDSTONE 

Genre:  Acoustic, Americana, Bluegrass

“They call themselves a ‘new-timey string band,’ but if you see them in action you would say they’re a steamroller of energy. Pert’ Near Sandstone plays bluegrass, both original and traditional, but they bring the old music to a young audience with their enthusiasm, tight harmonies and class.” -Dale Connelly and Jim Ed Poole, Minnesota Public Radio

Similar to: Twin-A, Will Bernard, The Goondocks

9:30pm @ Cafe Montmartre  (608.255.5900) $8 – 21+
BUY TICKETS NOW !

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Sunday, October 19
SLIGHTLY STOOPID 

Genre: Ska, Reggae, Pop-Punk

Similar to: 311, Sublime, Fishbone

and B FOUNDATION with OUTLAW NATION  8:00 pm @ Barrymore Theatre (608.241.8864) $20 adv $25 dos – all ages
BUY TICKETS NOW !

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JENNIFER O’CONNOR 

Genre:  Indie, Folk

“Over the past 6 years, Jennifer’s gotten scary good at this sort of thing, so much so that most other contenders for the hypothetical Nobel prize for Witty Pop Songs W/ Heart are either former members of this label’s roster (we’re thinking Manning/Phair/Daniel but if you wanna nominate someone more contemporary, please go right ahead) or they’ve already been embalmed in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.” -highroadtouring.com

Similar to: Elliott Smith,, Kathleen Edwards, Liz Phair, Kimya Dawson

with PATCHWORK 9:00pm @ Cafe Montmartre (608.255.5900)  $8 adv, $8 dos – 21+
BUY TICKETS NOW !

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Monday, October 20
MURS 

Genre: Rap, Hip-Hop

“He may not have either the Democratic or Republican nomination, but California indie-hip-hop mainstay Murs (an acronym for “Making Underground Raw Shit”) is throwing his hat into the election ring with his seventh solo album and major-label debut, Murs For President, out tomorrow on Warner Bros. Murs For President finds the underground-rapper-gone-big-time retaining his verbose and engaging flow while sticking to the soulful, jazzy beats that have marked his best records, notably 2004’s Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition.” – SPIN

Similar to: Aesop Rock, Atmosphere. Brother Ali

with KIDZ IN THE HALL  9pm @ High Noon Saloon (608.268.1122)  $14 adv $16 dos – 18+
BUY TICKETS NOW !

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MISSY HIGGINS

Genre: Pop, Alternative, Rock

“It wasn’t just that Missy Higgins played piano, or that she was barefoot. It was that she was, in her approach, doing what [Carole] King did in the 1970s: shunting aside any notions of how she ‘should’ look or what she “should” sound like, and focusing instead on strong melodies and earnest lyrics.” – Jon Gilbertson, JS Online

Similar to: Katie Melua, Norah Jones, Ingrid Michaelson, Kate Nash

with special guest JOSHUA RADIN 8:00pm @ Majestic Theatre (608.255.0901)  $16 – $23 – all ages
BUY TICKETS NOW!

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Tuesday, October 21

THE EXPENDABLES 

Genre: Rock, Reggae, Surf

“Anyone who’s ever been to an Expendables show knows what Weers is getting at. To say that the band goes all out is a severe understatement. By the end of every performance, the band appears physically deflated–drenched in sweat, hoarse and half-drunk. But that’s the Expendables: balls to the wall, no exceptions.” -Garrett Wheeler, metrosatacruz.com

Similar to: The Aggrolites, Sublime, Pepper

with special guests OPM and REBULATION  8:00pm @ The Annex  (608.256.7750)  $12 adv $14 dos – 18+
BUY TICKETS NOW !

Interview: Murder By Death

When you have a voice that sounds like a resurrected Johnny Cash dabbling in the forces of evil with Glenn Danzig, no one really expects songs about girls, cars and endless summers to come rolling off of your tongue. Indeed, Murder By Death’s Adam Turla is well-accustomed to narrating stories through song with heavier themes – sin, guilt, revenge, and (of course) death, just to name a few. However, the band’s most recent full-length release, Red of Tooth and Claw, is much more than an assortment of direction-less tragedy. Murder By Death bring the spirit of centuries old Americana to life with haunting, ragged tinged tales that instantly provoke brutal self-reflection. In anticipation of their Friday show at the Annex, Turla recently took the time to answer several questions about the band’s inspiration, and the art of storytelling.

Tell me about how you all found each other and created the band.

We were drinking buddies at college in Bloomington, Indiana – thought it would be fun to have a different kind of band.

What were your musical experiences growing up?

I took blues/jazz studies from 13-16 and occasionally played live in a group with my teacher in Detroit. Sarah [Balliet, cello/keys] went to high school at a youth performing arts school in Kentucky, and Dagan [Thogerson, percussion] and Matt [Armstrong, bass] were always looking to be in rock bands.

What inspired you to start writing?

A lack of anyone else I knew writing original stuff. Same reason I started singing.

There’s a line in “Boy Decide” that goes, “You’re too old to fuck around and too young to die.” Did you relate to this stuck-in-the-middle kind of existence before making the decision to seriously pursue music?

We never actually made a decision to seriously pursue music. It kind of just happened, and suddenly it was our lives. Sarah actually came to Indiana University with the intention of going to the music school here (one of the best in the country) and then decided she didn’t want a music career…ironically, two months later, she joined the band that gave her one.

That line from “Boy Decide” is very reminiscent of topics like aimless youth, societal dissatisfaction and moments of significant personal choice that were popular with beat poets. Is literature a big influence for you? If so, who are some of the writers you admire?

Literature is a huge influence and interest of mine. When I was 15 the beat poets were of major to interest to me with themes of Buddhism (which I went to college to study), and travel. My favorite authors have been pretty steady for the last 5 years, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

How did Tent Show Records come about?

A strange record deal that involved having our own label that was paid for by someone else. It worked and didn’t work—we didn’t have time to run a label for anything but our own bands and didn’t want to sign a band and then not have time to work hard for them.

How do your songs usually evolve from initial idea to finished piece?

I write the melody and lyrics all in my head and then eventually show it to the band who make it real.

How much of your own life are you comfortable injecting into your music?

Some, but like my favorite authors I like to fictionalize some of it and wrap a shroud of mystery around some of the stories.

Why do you think music is such an effective vehicle for the stories you create?

Brevity. I have more trouble writing long passages.

There’s a Greil Marcus quote that says, “It is a sure sign that a culture has reached a dead end when it is no longer intrigued by its myths.” Taking this into consideration, it seems that your band is doing all that it can to perpetuate American culture. What attracts you to the mythology and romanticism of old America?

Exactly what you are suggesting – fear of a dead end in culture. With 500 channels on cable, entire neighborhoods of boorish taupe monstrosities, and Paris Hilton a major news figure, I try to give people a little more credit for the kind of material they can take in. We create stories that attempt to have a meaning, rather than temporary entertainment.

Your lyrics frequently describe themes of physical suffering and a kind of dark emotional desperation that isn’t always easy to find in modern music, but they’re common in old traditional folk and blues. Do you think our generation is at all affected by the more “sanitized” content in popular modern art, music and literature?

Maybe. I think giving people only media that is easy to swallow is practically criminal. Ok ha maybe not that bad. But luckily there will always be an ebb and flow of intelligent trends in order to counteract the inane.

Lots of your songs (like “The Big Sleep” for example) seem to hint at religious prophecy. Do you look to religious texts as models of powerful storytelling?

The greatest, most insanely improbable stories are our religious stories. They illustrate peoples’ fears and hopes.

Do you ever worry that the excitement of your music takes away from the power of your words, or does it alternately serve to amplify their affect?

We attempt to have the music evoke the tone of the lyrics – we spend a lot of time trying to create an interplay.

Tell me about recording Red of Tooth and Claw. How did that experience compare to the recording of your other albums?

We were very practiced and just blew through the 3 weeks. The producer Trina Shoemaker was a badass – we just went in, played 2 or 3 takes and it sounded great. It was a very organic recording with few little edits.

What do you enjoy about performing live?

Everything.

What is the most important thing you try to achieve when sharing your music with a crowd?

Not fucking up because my mind wanders.
Murder By Death will be in town on Friday the 29th for their 9:30 pm show at the Annex. Madison’s own National Beekeepers Society and Crane Your Swan Neck open the show.
-Shelley Peckham

Murder By Death- Brother

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August 27, 2008